Every action or decision we make is either justifiable or unjustifiable. Justice is usually decided by society or the "norm." The "norm" changes from one society to another. However, there are always laws that can be broken, consequences that must follow, and punishment that must be imparted. Justice can be seen in two different ways, social and criminal. Justice is in the eye of the beholder because we all have different attitudes about right and wrong.
Criminal justice is a term that refers to the area of social laws which a group of people deem valuable in order for the day-to-day mechanics of society to function. When these laws are broken, the infrastructure of a society breaks down, and this deviance from the "norm" must be corrected. Personal feelings, morality, religious beliefs, and inflammatory, biased feelings towards certain laws cannot supersede the concrete social laws. This type of high emotion was apparent when dealing with the facts in the murder of a Topeka police officer. In the recent trial Steven Shively was prosecuted for shooting a police officer. The prosecutor was caught up in the media and emotional hype of this case. She apparently thought that she could win simply because a police officer was shot and the public was behind her. It was a case of public revenge where the mind- set was "We're going to get the guy that did this horrible crime. It doesn't matter that he was defending his home." This type of public revenge could include the execution of Shively. No matter what verdict would have been handed-down, someone, somewhere would have been unsatisfied. If Shively were sentenced to be executed, then his family and friends would have had to fight for justice until the day he died. As the verdict of "not guilty" arrived, Paterson's family, many police officers, and friends of the family cried for justice. Yet, justice had been served.
Equal and satisfying justice has always been a problem. On May 30, 1939...
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